This Week’s Must-See Art Events: The Art World’s Grand Sausage Grinder

by Michael Anthony Farley and Rea McNamara on March 21, 2016 · 1 comment Events

Overman (1)

Even though there was a dusting of snow in Manhattan this morning, spring is truly here, as attested by this week’s round-up of events. For graduating students wrestling with the possibility of a post-May malaise regarding their art world career prospects, Devin Kenny’s free Tuesday lecture at Cooper Union on cultural personas through the ages may or may not help in navigating all this talk about artist personal branding. (Yes, we just wrote that unironically.) On Wednesday, BOMB Magazine launches its spring issue at Brooklyn’s Greenlight Bookstore with readings by issue 135 contributors Álvaro Enrigue and Kate Zambreno. Now 35 years old (!), its artists-talking-to-artist format remains timely and engaging. And Friday’s double openings at Postmasters — AFC SPRNG BRK Man Boobs winner Paul Outlaw with Jen Catron and Zach Gage — promises a boat ride through experience economy overload and Google search autocomplete poetry, respectively.

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509 Atlantic Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
8:00 p.m.Website

Residency: Haeyoung Kim Bubblyfish

Since 2011, Haeyoung Kim has been developing Moori, an interactive installation that enables smartphone users to participate in a real-time narrative. Through instant messaging and sketches made this an online app that are then manifested visually and reproduced through text to voice sound, the audience become the authors of an algorithmic A/V performance. This potentially sounds like something straight out of Siggraph, but Kim has been developing the project long enough that this iteration seems less experimental and more multimedia theatrical performance due to the involvement of director Josh Chambers and theatre artist Mary Jane Gibson.


Cooper Union

41 Cooper Square
New York, NY
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.Website

The Griot, The Parrhesiac, The Cannibal, The Oversharer, The Artist, The Realist

Judging by the above event pic of an internet troll, expect a timely lecture from Devin Kenny on cultural personas through the ages, starting with today’s “The Creative”. Given Kenny’s own propensity for alter-egos and mimicry in a social media-driven culture, the talk poses an urgent question: “in a vastly customizable, personalizable world of signification and certain kinds of visibility, how can the Artist navigate in a time when those tools and techniques are increasingly accessible and equally charged?”


Greenlight Bookstore

686 Fulton Street
Brooklyn, NY
7:30 p.m.Website

BOMB Issue 135 Launch Party

The cover of the latest BOMB screams nine times “35 Years!” above the title, brazenly announcing its well-deserved milestone. The artist-generated publication celebrated its spring issue with readings from BOMB 135 contributors Álvaro Enrigue (author of the Herralde Prize-winning Sudden Death), Kate Zambreno (Heroines) and Daniel Poppick.


Kaufman Center - Merkin Concert Hall

129 W. 67th Street
New York, NY
7:30 p.m.Website

Ecstatic Music Festival: William Tyler, Quindar and Nick Hallett

Before his death in 2012, the reclusive Los Angeles filmmaker, folk musician and poet Fred Engelberg left behind a trove of unreleased shorts and documentaries capturing the city’s arts and activities communities in the 1960s and 1970s, despite contributing footage to the award-winning 1974 Vietnam War documentary Hearts and Minds. A couple years ago, his collection was acquired by the USC Hugh Hefner Moving Image Archive, and the material has formed the basis of this New Sounds Live co-presentation. Excerpts from Engelberg’s films will be performed with live musical accompaniment by Quindar (art historian James Merle Thomas and Wilco’s Mikael Jorgensen) alongside musicians William Tyler and Nick Hallett.

Pratt Institute

200 Willoughby Ave
Brooklyn, New York
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.Website

Screening of “Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures”

Catch a preview of the new HBO documentary Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures before it airs next month. It’s described as “a definitive portrait,” of the photographer, Robert Mapplethorpe, and based on the trailer, we can expect lots of satisfying archival footage of conservatives losing their shit over this juicy chapter of the culture wars. A discussion with filmmakers Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato follows. It’s free and open to the public, but you should RSVP ahead of time.



Postmasters Gallery

54 Franklin Street
New York, NY
5:30 p.m.Website

Jen Catron and Paul Outlaw: Behold! I teach you the Overman!

Last week, Outlaw was the winner of our SPRG BRK Man Boobs competition, winning over the judges (us) with his ripped tee shirt routine and shameless Solo Show self-promotion. The move worked, because here we are, including his show with Jen Catron. In their first solo with Postmasters, the duo promises to re-up “the experience economy” with over the top set pieces, videos, performance and multimedia paintings that skewers art world spectacle (think Kusama’s Infinity Room). The press release also promises a boat ride: “Expect the ride to be wild. Expect to be lifted. Expect the unexpected.” (Also opening that same night at the gallery is Zach Gage, who creates 21st century poetry with Google auto-complete.)

Postmasters Gallery

54 Franklin Street
New York, NY
5:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.Website

Zach Gage: Glaciers

Zach Gage’s “smart” sculptures use the data from Google search autocomplete results to present poems on e-ink paper, crowdsourced from the questions and concerns of the hive mind. Every day, the text refreshes. Given the enormous scale of the data involved, these results usually take a long time to change (thus the “glacier” reference). But it’s fun to know these will change throughout their lifetimes. A year ago, for example, the above piece might’ve read “I’m scared of Ebola” rather than “ISIS”. By November, our apparent collective toaster fear might be bumped off the top 3 by “Donald Trump”. Who knows?


Printed Matter

231 Eleventh Avenue
New York, NY
5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.Website

Ordinary Extraordinary: New Independent Publishing by Women

Yes, this is an all-female group show. I know we’re all over women-focused spectacles (let us not speak of Saatchi’s Champagne Life) but the line-up is great and draws valid connections between the work of self-publishing women and their publishing imprints, and their use of inexpensive printing techniques and focus on the everyday. Alicia Nauta, the force behind the Toronto-based Alicia’s Klassic Kool Shoppe, for instance, recycles DIY 1960s and 1970s home manual imagery of rugs, ceramics and plants in psychedelic prints. Meanwhile, LAZY MOM, the ongoing collaboration between artist Phyllis Ma and prop stylist Josie Keefe, create absurd technicolor food still life photography that seem to come from the genius of a freed 1950s housewife.

Featured artists: Alicia Nauta, LAZY MOM, Melinda Melmoth, Eunice Luk, Caroline Paquita, Emma Kohlmann



30 Lafayette Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
2:00 p.m.Website

The Last Movie

After the counter cultural and mainstream success of Easy Rider, Dennis Hopper managed to finagle from the Hollywood studio a one million dollar budget for this drug-addled avant garde cult hit of a stuntman (Hopper) who sticks around the set of a Western shot in Peru. The film was notorious for its on-set drama — actors were lost in the mountains for three days, the movie company had a love/hate relationship with the military government and Peruvian communists — but what was once dismissed as a vanity project is now being recognized as a Fellini-esque pre-Hollywood Renaissance classic.

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